Firefighter-first responders are essential elements of the survival chain. Every minute counts when a person is facing a vital emergency. Firefighter-first responders arrive quickly to the scene of the emergency because they travel from a nearby station. Their knowledge and equipment enable them to stabilize the victim ahead of more advanced pre-hospital care from paramedics. Firefighter-first responders are able to perform cardiopulmonary rescuscitation (CPR) and even cardiac defibrillation.
"It makes a big difference in the survival chain. We know that beginning CPR and stabilizing the respiratory pathways are key elements to patients' survival. If this step is omitted or delayed in the slightest, we know that the survival rate decreases quickly, no matter what we can do with advanced technologies." – Dr. Marc Beique, director of the emergency department of the McGill University Medical Centre (Source: "Firefighter-First Responders: Because Time Saves Lives!," a video by the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal, 2007)